Each carmaker is scampering about lately for the BS6 transition and we have seen some of the prominent diesel engines put to rest in the changeover. And this brings us to the big and burly Ford Endeavour. Since its introduction back in 2016, the American SUV was offered with two diesel engine options – a 2.2-litre with a manual, and the 3.2-litre with an automatic. Now, Ford has introduced the BS6 version of the Endeavour and out goes both these engines. However, with the BS6 debuts an all-new EcoBlue diesel engine which is mated to a new 10-speed automatic gearbox. We drove it in Jaisalmer while indulging ourselves in some serious dune bashing on Sam Dunes. So does the updated BS6 Endeavor continue to be a compelling buy? Let’s find out.
Well, not much has changed over the update the Endeavour received a year ago. You do, however, get revised headlamps signature with full-LED projector units. The badging on the side fender which read either 3.2 or 2.2 depending on the variant before now only has an ‘Endeavour’ insignia. Apart from these visual updates, the BS6 Endeavour is untouched. Now, the Endeavour has always been in-your-face SUV – thanks to the humongous proportions, towering height, and a rugged appeal with immense street presence – and thankfully that hasn’t changed. It stands out amongst its competition easily and not many would disagree that it is better looking of the lot too. However, we think the big Blue Oval could have done with a more comprehensive cosmetic revamp with this update.
Similar to the exterior, Ford hasn’t tinkered much with the cabin of the new Endeavour either. Climb inside (quite literally) and you are greeted by a well laid out dashboard which looks and feel premium. This familiar cabin gets soft leather finish on the dashboard, gloss finished inserts and high-quality plastics all around. The large and comfortable seats offer ample support. Meanwhile, the large sunroof adds a sense of airiness but the black roofline doesn’t help in elevating the roominess of the cabin. On the practicality front, there are usable storage areas in the centre console, on the doors and centre armrest. Moving to the second row, there’s plenty of head and knee room and the seats can be adjusted as well. There’s an armrest as well for the middle row with a popping cupholder. And the third row is suited for short distances at best.
Meanwhile, the eight-inch SYNC3 multimedia system takes the centre place on the dash while the informative driver’s display is a combination of analogue and digital dials. Ford has also introduced a new connectivity feature in the Endeavour called the FordPass. With this mobile app, the owners will be able to perform various vehicle operations such as remote start/stop and lock/unlock the vehicle. Few of the 55 features include distance to empty (fuel), oil levels, locate the vehicle, and discover locations like dealerships, restaurant, fuel pumps etc.
Other features on this Titanium Plus trim include a three-zone climate control, parallel-park assist, electric folding third row, keyless entry and start, hands-free boot operation, and eight-way power adjustment for both the front seats. On the safety front, the Endeavour continues to offer ABS, ESP, seven airbags apart from parking sensors both fore and aft, auto headlamps and wipers.
Powering the new BS6 compliant Endeavour is a direct-injection 2.0-litre EcoBlue four-cylinder diesel producing a respectable 170bhp at 3500rpm and 420Nm at 2000rpm. To put things into perspective, the older 3.2-litre produced 197bhp/480Nm. So the power output is on par but the biggest gain with the reduction of cubic capacity is fuel efficiency. Ford claims the new motor is 14 per cent more frugal and it is also quieter by 4dB when idling.
When you turn on the engine, it cranks up without much drama and settles down into a silent and vibe free idle. Off the mark, there’s ample grunt to get this 2410 kilogram SUV moving. And on the go, the sufficient low- and mid-range won’t leave you wanting for more in day-to-day driving. That said, triple-digit speed is achieved effortlessly and the Endy manages to cruise at highway speeds without any fuss. On the flip side, if you try to push the engine hard, the coarse din starts to filter inside the cabin. But once settled in a gear on a constant throttle, the engine is barely audible.
For the dune bashing on Sam, we dropped air pressure from the tyres to increase the contact patch and slotted into the Sand mode. No 4Low was engaged but the SelectShift was restricted to the third gear. And as it turns out, getting the Endeavour severely stuck in the dunes proved to be a difficult task, even for amateurs like us. Be it steep rising banks, near-vertical drops, or inclined walls, the Endeavour went through it all with utmost ease. In the right hands and with the correct momentum, the Endy can be as unstoppable on the sands as it is on the road.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||170bhp at 3500rpm|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||420Nm at 2000rpm|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||50|
|Tyre size||265 / 60 R18|
The Endeavour has always been a capable full-size SUV with feature-laden and safe interiors and an imposing street presence. It can be your do-it-all vehicle, one which can be taken to office on weekdays and on long drives with friends and family over the weekend. And it can do some serious off-roading as well without breaking a sweat. With this latest update – the new engine, gearbox and connectivity tech – it has become an even more value-for-money proposition. Sure, the smaller engine doesn’t pack the punch of its predecessor but it is more efficient and easy to drive. And Ford could have done a little more in terms of cosmetic changes with this update. Nonetheless, with prices starting at Rs. 29.55 lakhs for the 4x2 AT while top-spec 4x4 AT retailing at Rs 33.25 lakhs (ex-showroom), the Endeavour remains a viable buy against its competitors like the Toyota Fortuner, the Isuzu MU-X, and the Mahindra Alturas G4.
Pictures by Kapil Angane